Old English: foran-hēafde/hēafod

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by Chantal-Mary, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Chantal-Mary New Member

    If I want to analyse a compound noun (concerning gender, case, number and declension) like

    foran-hēafde in Old English, which of the two nouns is the head noun?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2014
  2. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    It's like in German. Normally the last element in the compound is the (grammatical) head. So, foran-hēafde should be the dative singular of the neuter noun foran-hēafod. as dictated by "hēafod". There may well be some exceptions (compare the genders of German Gegenteil and Anteil), but I don't know much in details about this.
  3. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    That isn't an exception. There is das Teil and der Teil with complementary meanings: das Teil is an individual piece of a group of distinct objects and der Teil is a part of a whole. So, e.g. a spare part is das Ersatzteil and the front part of your house is der Vorderteil. And that is also the reason why it is das Gegenteil and der Anteil.
  4. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Cool! That explains all the "das Teil" I saw at German marketplaces! Thanks a lot! :)
  5. Herefordian

    Herefordian Member

    Hereford UK
    British English
    The only exception I can think of is "die Handvoll", and that's because "voll" is not a noun.

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